Here are 10 tips on how to save money on your grocery bill.
My quest to manage the weekly grocery budget continues and for the second week in a row I came in under $100. Today’s bill was $80.18 after deducting $36.90 in store specials and coupons. Not bad for a family of six. My grocery bill month-to-date is $178.41.
Here are some small but helpful tips that I’ve discovered along the way, both on my own and from others:
- Only go to the store once each week. Small trips are expensive as you tend to be in for only one or two items but leave with five…three of which you probably wouldn’t have purchased in your weekly trip. Plus you save on gas
- Make a list and divide into three categories exactly what is needed, what you are running low on and what you would like to get for future use if on sale. I find the last one particularly helpful regarding spices, mixes and frozen items.
- Grab the store circular. I’ve found bonus coupons in here and have saved as much as $10 on itmes that fit the above criteria
- Stick to your list. I’ve become prudent to the point of unless it’s milk, bread or eggs, if it isn’t on sale I wait until it is.
- Tally your grocery bill as you shop. This keeps you on track and familiar with prices over time. You become a better shopper, specifically if your shopping involved more than one store. It also helps you catch errors at the checkout. Note – don’t be afraid to tell the cashier when the computer has the wrong price. In many states, the law is the price posted on the shelf must be honored at checkout.
- Try store brands. Many store brand items come from the same factories as name-brand items, they’re just packaged with a different label. There are some items you may not want to switch for personal tastes, but give the store brands a whirl every so often and you may be pleasantly surprised. Store brands can save you up to 50%
- Shop by the ounce. Get your math skills out and shop by the ounce. Often buying the larger size isn’t necessarily the best choice nor is the smaller bottle/size and cheaper price. Look at the price and size (remember 1 lb = 16 oz.) and do the math. Shopping by the ounce can provide significant savings at the checkout.
- Stock up! There are certain items I know we consistently consume – chicken nuggets, peanut butter, frozen turkey burgers, etc. As they go on sale – stock up! Having a good stock of supplies in the freezer and pantry have allowed me to be under the $100 mark for the last two weeks.
- Rainchecks! Don’t be shy about asking for a raincheck on sale items that are out of stock even if you didn’t need the item today. Be sure and write down the name of the item, size (e.g. 28 oz. bag), price and sale price. Ask the cashier or service desk for raincheck for future use. I routinely do this on my “stock up” items. Just because I didn’t need them today doesn’t mean I don’t want to save money the next time I have to buy. Store rainchecks are typically good for 90 days. It’s a free and easy coupon. Today I scored a raincheck on a frozen food item worth $8.49.
- Coupons Who can forget coupons? I’m not a coupon-clipper by nature but if you have a little time each week to scan and clip, it can take real dollars off of your weekly grocery bill.
What tips can you share?